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Umpires walk off after dispute

Controversy marred yesterday’s Premier match between Bailey’s Bay and Willow Cuts at Sea Breeze Oval.Umpires Hector Watson and Melvin Best abandoned the match after several Bay players showed serious dissent towards their decision to allow a disputed boundary to stand.The game was cut short with Cuts at seven without loss in reply to Bay’s 240 all out.The incident unfolded in the first over of Cuts’ innings. A delivery from Kyle Hodsoll brushed the pads of Chris Douglas and was fielded by Burton Outerbridge at long leg.But square leg umpire Watson advised his colleague that Burton’s leg was on the boundary ropes when he gathered the ball and a four was eventually awarded to Cuts.This in turn sparked outrage among Bay players with former team captain Irving Romaine reportedly among those showing dissent towards the umpires’ decision.Both umpires eventually decided to walk off the field, thus throwing the match into chaos.The incident was witnessed by national coach David Moore and Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) vice-president Allen Richardson, who tried in vain to get the match restarted after having a brief meeting with the umpires and representatives of both teams.Moore declined to comment while Richardson did not return calls to The Royal Gazette. But Bermuda Cricket Umpires Association secretary Richard Austin said his fellow colleagues will no longer tolerate bad behaviour from players.“It’s unfortunate that an umpire had to walk off the field of play because of the behaviour of players and having to take this sort of action is not something that we take lightly,” Austin said.“Without knowing the full facts we can’t say what the umpire has done is correct or incorrect. But what we can say is that players must be mindful that the umpire is not there to be the target of any abuse whatsoever. And if the abuse continues and the umpires figure it becomes a direct threat to them then that’s the action they will likely take at any time.”Yesterday’s incident arrived fresh on the heels of Cuts’ Premier clash with Devonshire at Devonshire Recreation Club two weeks’ earlier that was also abandoned.Umpire Lester Harnett called off the match after colleague Bobby Smith walked off the field after being subjected to what he claims were verbal threats stemming from the Cuts’ dressing room.Cuts all-rounder Deunte Darrell was subsequently banned from playing for a year after being found guilty of showing strong dissent towards Harnett’s decision to abandon the match.He was also found guilty by a BCB disciplinary committee of abusing cricket equipment and threatening to assault umpire Smith at the Premier match between Bay and St David’s at Sea Breeze Oval following the abandoned match at Devonshire Rec.Darrell appealed unsuccessfully against the disciplinary sanctions imposed on him.